By Nathan Ollhoff, PGA head golf professional at Interlachen Country Club
Interlachen Country Club
COVID-19 has changed so many things for probably every golf operation in America. In our case, at the famed Interlachen Country Club (founded in 1909 and host to the 1930 U.S. Open, the 2002 Solheim Cup, and the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open), we had a caddyshack that was going to be unused all of last year because of the pandemic, and most likely all of 2021. So, we decided to make the 25’ by 25’ space useful, and converted it into a learning center. We installed specially-designed lighting, two hitting bays, a putting green with three cups — and Foresight GC Quad launch monitors and simulators with projectors and hitting screens. Our latest addition? V1 Pro software, V1 Pressure Mats, and two high-speed cameras. It’s now the ultimate high-tech fitting and teaching studio.
We chose V1 Sports because of their inventory of golf swings in their software system and their reputation in the game as one of the premier teaching software solutions. Our cameras are positioned face-on and down-the-line. The functionality of getting both those angles, along with launch monitor data on each golf swing from an instructional perspective, is everything that we’re looking for. The cameras are mounted on easels so they can oscillate 12 inches in both directions.
Golf Digest Top Young Teacher Director of Instruction
We cater to all levels of amateurs here. Being a private club, we work predominantly with our members. Luke Benoit, our accomplished director of instruction, is a Golf Digest Top Young Teacher, has been Minnesota PGA Section’s Teacher of the Year and heads up our instructional program. And he’s going to really make our instruction thrive with the new gear.
We’re still honestly working through a little bit of the installation — we’re not to the finish line just yet. But, Mandy Von See and Gary Palis of V1 Sports have provided their expertise all along. It’s comforting knowing that they’ve done this before. This is our first time installing a large monitor, cameras, pressure mats, and things like that. Mandy was kind enough to fly in and spend a couple of days with our team, training us. Each day now, we’re getting things more dialed-in.
There’s just such an abundance of information. That said, I feel like we’ve got better tools for instant feedback now than we did have even a week ago. For instance, just with the V1 Pressure Mats you’re looking at lateral forces, ground forces and weight distribution, and you’re looking at video downline, face on, and all of that data. The bottom line is it’s an incredible amount of information with every golf swing. When we explain students’ swings to them in this day and age, they expect great data. It’s a new era: For better or worse, just taking our word for it is no longer enough. Now we’re able to substantiate or validate our word with tangible, precise data that’s very helpful. The V1 integration into the Foresight system supercharges the data and teaching experience.
It’s absolutely great. If you install V1 high-tech hitting bays at your facility, make sure that you’re very clear with your launch monitor partner and V1, in terms of the equipment you need and making sure that they work well with one another. And also make sure that the projectors work optimally with your launch monitor, as well as your cameras for V1. It’ll be well worthwhile.